80ce43239aa58210VgnVCM100000e56411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q4Iverson's honesty a lesson for Woods70ce43239aa58210VgnVCM100000e56411ac____Iverson's honesty a lesson for WoodsWhereas Iverson was largely upfront about his life away from the court, Woods projected an image of himself as all things virtuous and righteous.<p>Allen Iverson's press conference this week announcing his return to the Philadelphia 76ers was the stuff of great theatre.
Here are some of the 34-year-old guards' comments, heartfelt, sincere and totally unscripted:
"When I had the opportunity to come back here, it was something that I could not turn down.
"With the mistakes that I made in my life, you know I created a picture of me that's not me.</p>
<p>"I did a lot of things when I was young that I am not proud of but I think those things helped me to be the man that I am now.
"All I want to do is play basketball and help the guys that I play with.
"I was born to be a basketball player.
"The only thing that I can do and that I am better at than basketball is being a father and a husband."
The 10-time All-Star, who first played with the 76ers from 1996-2006, has made plenty of mistakes, including urinating in a rubbish bin in public at an Atlantic City casino, throwing his wife out of their family home during an argument and turning up for practice after late nights of partying.</p>
<p>He is not so much a role model, more a convenient punchline, a caricature of the corrupted modern athlete.
If nothing else, he is a man who recognises his failures.
While bestowed with talent that provided him all the riches any man could ask for, Iverson carries the heavy burden of fame because he seems ill-equipped to deal with its responsibilities.
Certainly his talent is not in question.
He was the MVP of the All-Star game in 2001 and 2005 and the No 1 pick in the 1996 NBA entry draft.</p>
<p>But since leaving Philadelphia, he had not scaled such heights in Denver, Detroit or Memphis - a team he played just three games for this season before announcing he was "retiring".
Predictably, during his recent press conference, the 76ers' general manager Ed Stefanski tried to curb and control what Iverson said by interrupting whenever Iverson started to cry.
Heaven forbid Iverson be seen in all his human frailty.</p>
<p>Stefanski was wasting his time because Iverson was, and will always be, 100 per cent authentic and disinterested in the vagaries of public relations and spin control.
Iverson is true to himself.
He wore clothes that irked the NBA's top brass and baulked at having to dress like a corporate penguin.
His fashion sense came from the ghetto culture he grew up in, and he wasn't going to whitewash his past with a suit and tie.</p>
<p>In stark juxtaposition to Iverson is Tiger Woods.
Whereas Iverson was largely upfront about his life away from the court, Woods projected an image of himself as all things virtuous and righteous.
He was no longer a regular human and, quite sadly, he came to be defined not as a man but as a billion-dollar business.
After the events of the past couple of weeks, Woods will have to change his marketing image and it will be interesting to see how the brains behind Team Tiger decide to spin this situation.</p>
<p>Of the two, I'll take Iverson, warts and all, any day of the week. And I am not alone.
Recent events show that sincerity sells tickets. The NBA has gone Iverson-crazy again.
His jersey is the hot seller and Philadelphia basketball fans are once again coming in droves to watch their team.
Tiger's handlers could learn a thing or two.